How to pack for a week-long vacation with only a carry-on bag

Many travelers are opting to travel lighter to avoid baggage fees and the worries associated with lost baggage. As frequent flyers know, you can fit more than you’d think into one carry-on bag. To help you plan for your next week-long escape here is how to pack for a week’s vacation with only a carry-on bag.

The right carry-on suitcase

Depending on the size of the plane, double-check the size of your carry-on suitcase to ensure that it will fit in the metal sizers as well as the overhead compartment. A poly-carbonate suitcase, like the Carry-On Pro made by Monos, will keep your belongings secure and protected while in transit, while also ensuring that your luggage will keep its shape no matter what you stuff into it.

Invest in packing cubes

While packing cubes might feel like a trendy packing item, they actually serve the dual function of organizing your belongings and compressing them to fit more in a smaller space. Before your trip, organize your clothing items by type or occasion into packing cubes for easy access. Midway through your trip, you may want to switch out packing cubes to divide dirty and clean laundry within your suitcase.

Lay out your clothes, and then edit

We’re all guilty of overpacking for a vacation. Whether it’s coming home with a few too many clean shirts or a pair of shoes that take up space that you didn’t wear. The key to packing for one week in a carry-on suitcase is to figure out a capsule wardrobe for the week that you can mix-and-match. For example, for one week of travel, you might need five shirts, three pairs of pants and two dresses that you can mix-and-match. Or, if you don’t wear dresses, you can add another pair of pants to be able to add another outfit variation to your suitcase.

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Avoid trendy pieces and accessories

While we love a funky hat, layered scarf, or a unique pair of shoes that make your outfit stand out, these trendy items tend to take up unnecessary space in your suitcase. Instead, pack shoes that will match every outfit and small accessories that won’t take up major real estate in your luggage. Avoid packing trendy, one-off outfits that look great but that you can’t mix-and-match with other clothing. While they are fun to wear at home, you’ll want to only pack pieces that you can wear in a few ways.

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Wear your heaviest items on the plane

Unless you’re traveling in the winter, you can usually get by on a vacation with one light jacket. Bring something that will match overtop the majority of your outfits, like a knitted black sweater or denim jacket, and wear it on the plane with you so it doesn’t take up room in your bag. If you are planning on bringing larger shoes, like boots or running shoes, consider wearing them while in transit to leave more space in your suitcase.

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